Somalilandsun: At least 16 people have died while over 200,000 people have been affected by torrential rains and riverine floods since the Gu’ (April-June) rains started in Somalia four weeks ago. Ten other people are missing due to floods and at least 2,000 farms have been swamped by water. The most impact has been felt in Puntland where a heavy downpour on 27 April killed eight people and displaced more than 22,000 people, Galmudug where six people have died and approximately 22,000 others are affected by floods, South West State where over 100,000 people have been affected by floods, and Jubaland with more than 11,800 flood-affected displaced families reported in Lower Juba region.
FAO/Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) reports that the moderate to high flood risk is likely to persist at least through mid-May1 , threatening urban and riverine populations, including in Belet Weyne (Hiraan) and Jowhar (Middle Shabelle) of Hirshabelle state. River levels have risen along the Shabelle basin and there is a high risk of flooding in coming days. As a result, riverine communities in Belet Weyne are advised to prepare for possible relocation in the course of the week. The Hiraan authorities have activated the Flood Taskforce under the leadership of the Governor and partners have been alerted to activate early warning systems on their respective project sites, and in the wider communities.
The ongoing Gu’ flooding will exacerbate the humanitarian situation, joining the COVID-19 pandemic and locust infestation to form a ‘Triple Threat’. The fast-spreading COVID-19 pandemic that was first confirmed in the country on 16 March. As of 4 May, confirmed cases had reached 756 with 35 deaths and 61 recoveries. Disruptions to transport due to damaged roads and COVID-19 restrictions have pushed food prices up in some affected areas. The country is also facing a resurgent desert locust infestation with mature swarms reported in Somaliland and Galmudug. The rains are likely to increase the risk of water borne diseases. Since January, over 2,780 cases of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera have been reported; higher than the situation over the same period in 2019, when 1,295 cases were reported.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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